A good friend of mine has been urging me to check out FLYLady, a site that she claimed would help me organize my home and my life, something I've been trying to do for ages. Or at least since yesterday...
Anyhow, I have, in the recent past, made some respectable progress towards de-cluttering and organizing my house, but it's still nowhere near where I want it to be, so a week or so ago, I did follow my friend's advice, and have since become a devotee.
Not a fanatical one, mind you--as with other home organizing books I've read and sites I've visited, I still take what I think will work, adapt others that seem to need some tweaking, ignore those that aren't applicable, and leave until another time those that are too expensive or too hard to do right now.
But it isn't the actual de-cluttering and cleaning methods that keep me coming back. It's the philosophy.
FLY stand for "Finally Loving Yourself." I realized that having a messy home full of broken junk, sink overflowing with dishes and counters so cluttered I couldn't cook was a form of self-hate. I realized that if I truly loved myself, I would make an effort to clean up and cook decent meals, just as if I were a guest in my own home who I wanted to impress.
And the results?
I reorganized my dining room to be more functional before checking out the site, but it continued to develop clutter, and the kitchen still wasn't clean enough to cook a meal. But after checking out the FLYLady site...
Step One: Shine Your Sink. Which you can't do if the sink is full of dirty dishes. So I did a load of dishes. Then another load. Then another load. And I put them away once they'd dried. Then I cleared the clutter off the counter, putting the small appliances that I don't use every day (most of them) in a cupboard that's actually perfect for that purpose. A little scrubbing of counters and sink, and I had a kitchen I could use!
I've managed to do that one simple step every day for a whole week, and guess what?
I HAVEN'T EATEN OUT ONCE THIS WEEK!!!!
The caps and the bolding and the exclamation points say it all, I think. And because the kitchen is clear and I'm using the dining room to eat, I'm more conscious of moving the clutter out before it has time to accumulate into mountainous piles of crap that's mostly garbage. So I've had the ex-husband over for dinner twice this week. I cooked a crock pot full of winter veggies drenched in maple syrup and ginger (do as the recipe says, folks, and use all that ginger!) that was apparently so good the kids didn't leave me any. I made a second pot tonight, and while veggies aren't really my thing, I ate a full serving and a bit.
But the real cap of the week was Sunday. I walked into the house after church and did a quick double-take, because for a split second, I wondered if I was in the right house!
I'm continuing to work on my house--I still have the office, bathroom, upstairs storage and basement to clear out and clean up. And of course, then I'll be doing a second round of the house, paintbrush and curtains in hand.
Once all that's done, I'll truly be able to say that I've conquered my CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome), and I'll have a house that I truly enjoy living in and showing off!